HRD not properly keying Flex 6600M to Transmit

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago

This is my first post after receiving my new Flex 6600M about one month ago. I have started integration of third-party software (e.g. HRD and WSJT-X). Decided on HRD first since I have many years’ experience with it running on old Win 7 laptop, Navigator Interface and TS-590 Xcvr.

Downloaded latest SmartSDR v2.4.9 which runs the Flex just fine using a newer Windows 10 HP Spectre x360 laptop (connected to Wifi since no Ethernet socket). Successfully downloaded the latest HRD v6.4.0.905. Purposely have not yet downloaded any other third-party apps like SliceMaster, DDUtil or MiniDeluxe since I’m not sure which one would be best. As such, I am doing the integration “brute force”. I followed as much as possible, Tim Ellison’s online “SmartSDR – Ham Radio Deluxe – DM780 How To Setup Guide dated 9/15/18.

 

DAX set to Ch 1. Opened DAX Control Panel and clicked the “1” RX Streams Slice “A” button which turned blue then saw red volume bar moving with receiver audio. Switching to SmartSDR CAT I saw that COM Port 5 was selected for CAT. Per the instructions I added another COM Port (6) for PTT and ensured RTS & DTR were both selected Blue.

On HRD I selected FlexRadio and Smart SDR and verified COM Port 5 was selected. Oddly, DTR and RTS were both unchecked and grayed out at the bottom same as shown in the Guide. On the HRD Soundcard settings box, I selected Input (Rx) to “DAX Audio Rx 1” and Output (Tx) to “DAX Audio Tx”. On the HRD PTT setting box I verified COM Port 6 was showing and checked “Set DTR” and “Set RTS” boxes.

On my PC’s Control Panel I selected “Audio” and checked the Soundcard settings to ensure they were also set to match the HRD settings (they initially were not).

On DM780 screen, I was able to decode some PSK-31 QSOs without issue. I selected my test, test, test... PSK Macro and clicked it. Saw those words being stricken through and my signal in the DM780 waterfall as is normal when sending but the Flex was not transmitting (it was still receiving). Clicking the Smart SDR Control Panel’s MONitor button allowed me to hear the familiar “diddles” but still no RF output. Pushing the HDR Rig Control TX button forced the Flex to key and started outputting the selected 50 watts with my output power meter jiggling as it should.

I closed all the apps then restarted SmartSDR, followed by HRD. Surprisingly, the Flex keyed itself as the Logbook app was loading and went into a “pseudo Tx mode”. The power supply current jumped from the 3 amps (Rx) to about 6 amps but with no RF output and the Flex Power on/off button was Red. I saw a little “hump” on the panadapter at the Tx frequency but I didn’t trying modulating for RF output. Clicking the HRD TX button again quickly restored (unkeyed) the Flex back to receive and 3 amps with waterfall decoding signals.

Any help from this fine user community would be helpful before I contact Flex.

Best 73. Mike Peron WB6UTW


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Mike Peron

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Ken, K2KXK

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Hi Mike,

Welcome to the Flex world. Do you have a PTT port created in SmartCat and is this referenced in the DM780 PTT config screen?  See attached.


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Mike Peron

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Yes on both. I have the same Port numbers as you (except I don't have Smart S-Meter)
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Ken, K2KXK

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Hi.  Can you post screen shots of your config?

I agree with several of the other responses that Slicemaster is a better solution than actually running HRD but since you have experience with HRD, I would stick with it until you have gotten everything to work as you want it.  I use Slicemaster as the HRD server to accommodate DM780 and HRD Logbook.  Have also iued Minideleuxe in the past.
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Mike Peron

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Success Transmitting!! After studying the DM780\Program Options\PTT dialog box some more, I decided to deselect the far left "COM Port" option and select the "Via HRD DM780 option in the center. I then selected the "configure HRD connection" button and connected using default address: local host and Port:7809. DM780 now keys the Flex with RF output. Besides some latency, the Flex however, still keys up (no RF) when the full HRD suite launches. I have to deselect the HRD Rig Control TX button to get back to Rx.




I sense this is not the optimal setup since there is a 1-2 second time lag from the time I invoke a DM780 Macro (e.g. test, test, test) until the transmit actually starts. My PC is connect via Wifi (no Ethernet socket). Outside Internet is doing 31 ms ping, 110 MBPS down and 11 MBPS up. Having a ham buddy over tomorrow who is experienced with SliceMaster to be my copilot in downloading and launching it.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this post !

73, Mike WB6UTW
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi Mike

If the radio keys itself, something in in the Logbook startup sent a command to the radio.  Either it was a software command from HRD to the radio on the CAT line, or the Com port 6 level change the level of RTS or DTR.  You only need one of those to work.  This is from old school radio keying.

In DM780, if the radio didn't transmit, then HRD never sent the command to transmit (assuming you had the radio in DIGU mode).  

Short story is that the radio needs to be told by the software to go into transmit.    If it doesn't then Digital Software didn't send the right type of command to the right place.  There is more than 1 solution to your problem, but to be honest, as I mentioned, using SliceMaster and configuring an 'Identity' should make it just work.  I don't use DM780, so I have yet to do that, but I am sure others have.  

In any digital mode operation, these the the key parts and they are all unique:

  • Transmit and receive Audio for sending and receiving messages
  • CAT control for Frequency reading and sending
  • PTT control, either by CAT command, Hardware (com port + RTS or DTR), or VOX (I never use VOX and I have never tried it on a 6000 series radio).
That being said, I would just insert SliceMaster and that should resolve your issues.  

Mike va3mw
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bahillen

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Save yourself some time and complexity. Load Slice-Master 6000. With your choice of HRD it is the sweet spot for S-M 6000. It sets up everything. It is a great operating functionality also.

73
Bill
W9JJB
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Larry Loen WO7R

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I have had intermittent software problems keying the rig for some time now.  Everything was working right, and then suddenly keying the rig gives no audio.  It is as if there was no audio being provided to the rig.

Usually, I have to power the rig off and on to clear it.  Then it is back to normal.